Class Notes Part 2 - More IAH 206 Matt Ferkany Where we are...

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More IAH 206 Matt Ferkany
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Where we are going The human self as object of technological innovation Is there a human essence degraded by genetic, psychopharmacological technologies? If so, should we limit their use? Insofar as technologies shape our sense of what’s normal, socially acceptable, should we limit their use?
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Some questions Is it wrong to use technology to transform the human self? A) yes B) no Are ethical beliefs culturally formed? A) yes B) no Are you ‘your own person’? A) yes B) no C) Don’t know
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The interplay of identity and social environment (culture) The human self: physical and psychological Psychological self (identity): my answer to the question, ‘Who am I?’ Character traits (honest, modest, industrious) Preferences and values (liberal/conservative, Culture: social norms, mores, codes, practices Identity partly shaped by culture, social environment
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Three questions What sort of identity is it desirable to have, what kind of person should I want to be? What social environment conducive developing to desirable identity? What ethical ideals characterize the ideal social environment? Ideal of well-being, the good life Normative ethical theory
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More’s Utopia Greek for ‘not place’; nowadays an ideal if unachievable society How political power might be used to improve social conditions by improvements in technology and social and political conventions Social control or engineering
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Background of Utopia More —1478—1535 End of Renaissance, beginning of Protestant Reformation Contemporaries—Magellan (1521), Copernicus (1514), Machiavelli (1513) Devout Catholic, lawyer, British MP, Lord Chancellor Executed for opposition to Henry VIII’s break from Catholic church
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The Renaissance (rebirth) Beginnings in 14 th Century Italy Humanist, secular culture inspired by rediscovery of classical Greek philosophy (Aristotle, Plato) Begins to displace monastic focus
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Cultural tensions in renaissance music Monastic and humanist elements both pervade Josquin Desprez (1440-1521): Qui habitat (Psalm 90) Sacred text Motet: sacred song; monphonic, repeating rhythm Madrigal: secular song, polyphonic, lacking a beat John Dowland (1600): Galliard Can Shee Excuse Galliard: five step dance
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Renaissance Politics Rediscovery of idea that political authority (power) is separate from divine authority; Aristotle’s The Politics Preoccupied with question how political authority should be used Machiavelli: to maintain law and order; nearly any means may be justified by this end More: to preserve the common good and promote justice (pp. 28, 44)
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Utopia The basic plot: Raphael Nonsenso favorably compares the social conventions of Utopia to 16 th Century European society the penal system (Rap Map) the education and class systems the economic/property system government religious toleration (excepting atheism)
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This note was uploaded on 08/11/2009 for the course IAH 206 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Michigan State University.

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Class Notes Part 2 - More IAH 206 Matt Ferkany Where we are...

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